One of YouTube’s Biggest Stars Under Fire: An Overview

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Max Kruk, Writer

YouTube, and former Vine star, David Dobrik has been an internet figure that has been beloved by fans for the past few years. The U.S-based vlogger has been doing videos on YouTube since 2015, and was perceived by many as someone who could do no wrong in the YouTube community. This changed, however, as recently, one of Dobrik’s friends was alleged to be involved in nonconsensual sexual activities with a woman, amongst other allegations of manipulation and misconduct involving members that regularly appear in Dobrik’s videos. In this article, we’ll discuss an overview of some of the accusations made against David and his peers, as well as other cases of misconduct against other members of “the Vlog Squad”, and the fallout that this has caused Dobrik’s image, channel, and business. 

To start off, a lot of the controversy and allegations against David Dobrik originally spawn from former Vlog Squad member Seth Francois. Francois stated in June 2020 that Dobrik, and other members of the Vlog Squad, previously made racist jokes aimed at him, and other negative forms of teasing that did not sit well with Seth. Later, Dobrik took about 2 minutes out of a podcast episode to apologize, while never actually addressing any specifics, or even Seth Francois directly. It is also to be noted that back in 2017, Dobrik made a video in which he tricks Francois into kissing comedian Jason Nash, which Francois later admitted that he was very uncomfortable with that, stating in 2021 on the H3H3 podcast that “I was touched by someone I did not consent to.” 

Amongst other misconduct allegations involving various members of the Vlog Squad, the most recent news to come out, is that a woman from a one of Dobrik’s 2018 vlogs states that she was a part of nonconsensual sexual activities involving David’s friend, Dom Zeglatis. This also goes along with claims of sexual misconduct by Trisha Paytas, in which she claims that Dobrik was involved in purchasing alcohol for women that were underage, and that Dobrik also caused her boyfriend to break up with her, along with other claims against David. There is also news currently coming out on Vlog Squad member Jeff Wittek, trying to clear his name of any involvement of the sexual misconduct caused by Dobrik and other members, while other evidence shows that he actually may have been involved in the first place. It is also worth noting that ex-Vlog Squad member, Nick Keswani, claims that he was repeatedly mocked for his dwarfism, and other disabilities during his time in the group.  

The fallout of these events highlighted above, as well as other claims made by various others against David Dobrik and other Vlog Squad members, has been devastating to both David and the group. Even with making two apology videos, the most recent of which coming out just this past Tuesday, March 23rd, many have not forgiven Dobrik for his horrible actions. Many former sponsors of Dobrik have also began to drop him, including Chipotle, SeatGeek, DoorDash, and HBO Max, just to name a few. David also stepped down from his photo-sharing app, Dispo, with Spark Capital dropping any connection with the app. It also comes to no surprise that Dobrik has begun to lose many subscribers, with him losing 300,000 subscribers in less than a week.  

While there is still news on this topic being released daily, enough allegations have come out for many to “cancel” the former internet star, and have caused many others to come out with their own stories on David Dobrik and the Vlog Squad. As this story continues to develop, it’ll be interesting to see what other repercussions Dobrik receives, as well as other stories that might come out against the famous vlogger. One thing is for sure, however, and that is that David’s public perception will most likely be altered forever, and that any victims of these events should be given justice against David Dobrik, and other members of the Vlog Squad.